Having a healthy set of teeth and gums is important, but you should also place emphasis on your smile's appearance. From severe tooth discoloration to crooked, misaligned bites, the look of your smile can affect your overall appearance and self-esteem. If you are part of the population with diastema, or a gap between your two front teeth, you may find this common dental condition unappealing. While numerous options are available for repair, treating the condition will center on the cause of your diastema. Using this guide on possible causes of your gap-toothed smile, you can find the best option for repair.
Possible Causes of your Gap
Your gap may have developed during your early childhood years. During this time, certain habits may have caused the spacing between your teeth. Sucking on your thumb and bottle for an extended period of time may have created the excess spacing between your teeth. In addition, using a pacifier as a child can increase your risk of developing a permanent gap.
Misaligned bites, such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites, can also be a cause of a gap-toothed smile. Issues with the bite prevent the jaw from lining up with the upper teeth, which creates extra spacing.
Many patients with diastema have a larger labial frenum, as well. This piece of tissue connects the upper lip to the gums directly above the two front teeth. If the labial frenum is oversized, it can grow in between the two front teeth, resulting in a gap-toothed smile.
Closing the Gap
A gap-toothed smile has become a trend in Hollywood thanks to popular celebrities such as Anna Paquin and Michael Strahan. While these celebrities chose not to repair their diastema, you can close the gap using professional dental and orthodontic care.
An orthodontist can repair it if your gap stems from developmental issues or misaligned bites. Braces are commonly used to repair a gap-toothed smile. Traditional metal braces or clear orthodontic aligners gradually close the gap by bringing the teeth closer together.
If you are dealing with an oversized labial frenum, a simple surgical procedure will be necessary to remove the excess gum tissue. Although somewhat invasive, this surgery is completed in an outpatient facility and only requires a light sedative to numb the gum tissue.
Visiting a dentist, such as Brant N Olson, DDS PA. periodically for cleanings and regular exams is key to good oral health, but certain cosmetic conditions can affect your smile's appeal. Using this guide on diastema, you can understand and correct your gap-toothed grin.
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